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How to Become An Organized Freelancer

How to Become an Organized Freelancer

Higher income potential
Time freedom
Location independence

As a freelancer, do you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of things you have in your mind – tasks you need to get done, ideas you want to explore, skills you need to learn? Do you ever feel like your thoughts are all over the place and you can’t seem to focus on getting your deliverables done? Do you find yourself constantly getting distracted by a myriad of things midway through trying to wake up the creative genius in you so you can get stuff done?

I get you and you’re not alone. Quite a few times, it crossed my mind to gather all the Infinity Stones and snap my fingers as Thanos did so I can find myself alone, focused and productive. Whatever it takes. #iloveyou3000 #stillnotover #endgame

By now, you probably already discovered that there are a great many wonders to working at home like higher income potential (you are literally the only person that can put a limit to this), time freedom and of course, the dream of working in your jammies if you choose to.

But much like the Soul Stone, it doesn’t come for free. In order to bring results to your clients which will in turn bring in more income for you, one must be prepared to do the hard work. It takes a lot of discipline to be a successful freelancer. But it is oh sooo worth it!

That’s why it pays to become highly organized. Being an organized freelancer helps you become more efficient. And when you become more efficient, as a result, you’ll experience less stress, get more things done and maintain work-life balance. Isn’t that what we all want to have?

So, let’s talk about what we can do to redesign your freelancing life and make the magic happen:

Create a Schedule and Stick to It

Being your own boss means you have a lot of flexibility and time freedom. It also means a lot of forcing yourself to take showers daily or at least every other day, fighting the urge to play just one round of Mobile Legends and motivational speeches to get you up and focusing on your vision board. You want that nice car and that new phone? Get up on your a** and open your laptop. That sort of thing. Because you get to decide on how you spend your time, it is important if you want to be successful as a freelancer to committing to a schedule.

Do a self-check and find out when you are at your most creative, or productive within the day. Consider your lifestyle and the schedule of the members of your household. This is especially important if you’ve got kids that you need to attend to. If you need to be alone when working, find a time and day when everybody else is not around (for example: when your child is at school or when family members go to work). It doesn’t matter what time you’ll work, what’s important is you block out a specific time within your day for work so you’ll get more things done.

Deep Work

Are you a parent? Are there a lot of people in your home and you find the situation very distracting? Then you must learn how to practice “Deep Work”, a term coined by Cal Newport. Deep Work means you’d need to follow point #1 (creating a schedule and sticking to it), you’d have to stay away from social media (no browsing on your phone!), and prioritize by focusing on the most important tasks first.

Learn more about Deep Work here

Create a Working Environment

Aside from creating your schedule, it is also best to create an environment that is conducive to working.

Do you have an office table and an office chair at home? If you don’t, get one and assign an area in your house that will serve as your work station. You can also try listening to instrumental songs while working as studies show that hearing music stimulates our brain to think better. And yes, I know we all want to comfortable while working and nothing is as comfortable as the clothes you slept in last night, but you need to get out of your pajamas. Dress up. Or at least exert an effort to feel prepped up for work. Doing all these trains your mind to focus on getting tasks done once you’re in your work station.

Talk to everyone in your household not to disturb you unless it’s urgent when you’re in your work station. Working from home does not mean you are available to anyone at anytime for anything. The moment they see you sitting down on that office chair, it serves as a signal to them that you are working and cannot be disturbed at the moment.

Journal

Just as with any machine, even though the brain is the best at it, it needs rest. Your mind is your best tool and you need to be able to use your brain to your advantage. Crowding it with everything you are trying to remember and assess does not help it.

Journalling may sound boring, I know, I know. But there’s just so many benefits in writing down your thoughts. As David Allen puts it, “your brain is a thinking tool, not a storage device.”

Give your brain breathing room and help it become more organized by writing down your thoughts and ideas. It is a best practice to think on paper. Make it a habit to always a pen and paper with you. It might also be a good idea to keep one physical or virtual notebook per client. This way, you are giving each of your client a home/space in your computer so you can easily keep track of all your deliverables, invoices and receivables.

Less is More

I can’t stress this enough. Just because you want to earn more doesn’t mean you have to do more. In this noisy world of online freelancing, there’s a lot of opportunities which makes it even harder to decide which path to take, which projects to pursue and which clients to accept.

If you want to reach your income potential while staying sane, you gotta learn how to say no. Say no to the things that do not bring you closer to your goals. Say no to clients who don’t see your worth. Say no to “opportunities” that doesn’t support your values.

Focused on honing your craft and becoming an expert in what you do. Keep only the things you need in life and discard the rest.

Delegate

As you become more and more experienced in freelancing, you’ll see that some things become so repetitive and tedious for you. If this is happening to you right now, it’s probably time to delegate.

Whenever you’re ready to start your own agency or hire your own virtual assistant, do your homework by documenting your process from Step 1 to finish.

If you systematize your workflow, it wouldn’t be that hard to assign tasks to anyone if needed.

Once the process doc is ready, the next step is to find someone who is responsible enough to carefully follow the instructions you prepared so you can focus on finding more clients and growing your freelancing business without having to worry about the day to day tasks.

Do you have additional tips on how to become an organized freelancer? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Not yet a freelancer? Learn about freelancing the “organized way” by enrolling to this free course.

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